If you’re thinking about getting a self storage unit, there are a number of things you’ll need to consider. The location of your storage unit is important along with the price, company, and features. However, the main thing that you need to determine is the size of your self storage unit. Many storage facilities offer a number of different sizes to accommodate different needs, but those who have never rented a storage unit before are often unsure of what size they should get. You want to avoid renting something that’s too small to hold your things while simultaneously reducing the amount of extra space you have so you can avoid paying for more than you need. In this article, we’ll go through everything that will impact your decision so you can confidently answer: “what size self storage unit should I get?”
1. Evaluate Your Needs
The first step in the process is to take inventory of everything that you’re going to want to store in your self storage unit. Some people only need to put a few things away in storage while others need a place to put everything they own. There are huge differences between the smallest storage unit size and the largest, so to better understand what will work for you, it’s important to evaluate your needs. For the best results, set aside some time to take a thorough inventory of everything you’ll need to store. If you have any large furniture, measure it and write it down. Dimensions will come in handy when looking at the overall storage size and can help you avoid wasting money in the long run. Do the same thing with your appliances.
Next, look at all of the smaller things that you’ll be storing and try to make an estimate about how many boxes, bins, or bags they will take up. If you’re using different sizes of boxes, write it down. If you don’t need to access your things right away, it may be beneficial to preemptively pack everything into actual boxes so you’ll know exactly what you’re working with.
Remember that heavy appliances and irregular furniture may not able to be stacked, so keep a note or record of these items in addition to their dimensions. The more detailed your inventory is, the easier it will be to find the perfect sized self storage unit.
2. Think About Convenience
Next, you’ll need to think about convenience. Do you care if everything is crammed into your storage unit or would you prefer to have space to walk around and access your items? If cramming is fine with you, use the above inventory to determine the square footage you’ll need and go with that. If you want to have more accessibility to your items and avoid having to take everything out to do so, a storage unit that’s larger than what your direct needs are will be the best option.
Again, the best way to think about this is how often you plan to access the things in your storage unit.
3. Tour the Facility
If you have a facility in mind, go there. Seeing the storage units in person will give you a better visual idea of what you’re working with and what you will need. Taking a tour of the facility also gives you valuable insight on the security and general layout of the grounds, which, for some people, makes a huge difference. Even if you think you know exactly what you need, visit the facility in person. The picture that we hold in our minds is often vastly different from reality and it’s always better to be sure before making a long-term commitment.
Use a Moving Truck
Another good way to get an idea of how much space you’ll need is to use a moving truck. The sizes of moving trucks vary from 10’x10’ to 10’x20’ so if you pack a 25-foot moving truck to the brim, you’ll probably need one of the largest self storage unit sizes available. On the contrary, if you only fill up half of a 15-foot truck, you’ll know that you can go much smaller.
Make Sure you Understand Dimensions
The most confusing aspect of self storage unit sizes are understanding the dimensions fully. Storage unit sizes are expressed as length by width in feet, so when multiplied provides you with the square footage. If you’re not familiar with how big square footage spaces are, check out the brief guides below.
✔ 5×5 Storage Unit – This is a 25 square foot unit that is most comparable to a medium-large closet you’d find in a home. This is great if you don’t have any large furniture and are mainly looking to store a few small items and some boxes. A twin mattress will also fit in this unit.
✔ 5×10 Storage Unit – This is a 50 square foot unit that better resembles a walk-in closet in a family home. Again, this is a good option for people who don’t have much to store. It does accommodate small appliances, some pieces of furniture, boxes, and maybe a queen mattress.
✔ 10×10 Storage Unit – This is a 100 square foot unit. It has the capacity to store contents that take up the size of a small, two-bedroom space and is roughly half of the size of a one-car garage.
✔ 10×15 Storage Unit – This is a 150 square foot unit that is comparable to, albeit slightly smaller than, the size of a one-car garage. It has the capacity to fit larger amounts of furniture from a three-bedroom space. If you have TVs and electronics, sporting equipment, or even a piano, they should fit in this unit.
✔ 10×20 Storage Unit – This is a 200 square foot unit that most closely resembles the space of a one-car garage. Many people use this type of storage unit to hold larger items like appliances in addition to their furniture sets and personal belongings. If you want to store a car, this is an optimal size to do so.
✔ 10×30 Storage Unit – This is a 300 square foot unit that can hold all of the things that fit inside a decent sized home. This is a good option for people who need storage during a big move, or if they have boats and vehicles that need special care during winter months. If you have a family with lots of kids, a 10×30 unit is your best bet.
These are just a few of the standard sizes of storage units that many self storage facilities offer. Depending on where you choose to store your belongings, there may be more options available in between these standard sizes. Always check with your self storage facility before making a commitment to ensure that you get exactly what you need.
6. Stray on the Safe Side
If you’re on the fence on what size self storage unit to get, always go one size up. It’s better to have a little extra room than cramming everything into a small space. When you overfill your self storage unit, you’re at more of a risk for items breaking or deteriorating while you’re gone. You want to avoid putting pressure on delicate items, so paying a few extra dollars will be worth it to keep your things safe.
Choosing the Right Self Storage Facility
Once you determine your self storage needs, you’ll need to find a self storage facility that fits your needs. The first thing to do when evaluating self storage units is look at whether or not it offers climate controlled units. Climate control is essential to keeping your things protected during extreme or fluctuating temperatures. We always recommend opting for a self storage unit with climate control, even if it’s a few dollars extra per month, to make sure your things are exactly as you left them. Another feature to check is the security features. Find a facility that offers perimeter alarms, gated access, security codes, CCTV, and motion-sensor lighting to give you the best protection possible. While the hunt for a facility that goes above and beyond sound intimidating, it’s easier than you think when you choose The Lock Up Self Storage. At The Lock Up, we offer climate-controlled storage units with state of the art security features that can be accessed at any time of the day, any day of the year. Regardless of what your self storage needs are, The Lock Up has you covered. The Lock Up Self Storage is a family owned and operated self-storage facility that has been in business since 1976. We have tons of different options for each and every budget and need. Call us today at 1-866-327-LOCK or visit one of our facilities to find the perfect size self storage unit for your needs.